In the tech-driven world, the demand for software continues to increase. Did you know? The software market size worldwide was USD 583.47 billion in 2022. It is likely to grow by a CAGR of 11.5% by 2030.
That clearly shows the evolving landscape of the software market. Therefore, more and more businesses are investing in software development to ensure better reach to their target audience. However, before you start with the development, the choice of architectural patterns matters a lot.
Software architecture patterns serve as a compass that guides the building of maintainable and scalable systems. Moreover, it offers several benefits like better planning, an increase in productivity, cost optimization, and more.
Are you wondering which software architecture pattern to leverage for your next project? In that case, you must be familiar with the different patterns and their usage. Let’s dive in!
What is a Software Architectural Pattern?
Architectural patterns in software engineering refer to the architectural design decisions that focus on addressing the recurring design problems in the software development process. In simple terms, it outlines the fundamental components and helps understand the interactions between them. Moreover, it provides an idea of the overall layout of the software.
Software architecture pattern guides the decisions relating to the performance, scalability, and maintainability of the system. It is often referred to as the blueprint of the system. However, it is not the actual architecture.
Instead, the architectural pattern is basically a concept that allows you to gain a better understanding of the different elements of the software architecture. The success of a system usually depends on the choice of software architecture.
The most prominent examples of architectural patterns include message bus, microservices, MVC patterns, domain-driven design components, microkernels, and microservices.
Significance of Software Architecture Patterns
Are you still wondering why the software architecture patterns matter? Well, as a matter of fact, they can resolve various problems easily. For instance, no longer do you have to rely on a single server. Instead, you can segment the complex user requests into smaller chunks and distribute them among different servers.
Moreover, you can even simplify the testing protocols by dividing them into different segments. As a result, you will not have to test the entire software at once. It improves the accuracy of results and helps improve the overall quality.
Still not convinced? In that case, you must have an idea of the reasons why you must leverage the software architecture design patterns. Let’s understand the most common reasons.
Quality and Efficiency Maintenance
In the competitive era, developing high-quality software is the key to stand out. However, when building an application, quality issues are quite common. But the good news is that the right selection of architecture patterns can help lower quality issues significantly. Moreover, it can effectively boost the efficiency of software.
Defines the Basic Characteristics of Applications
No doubt, every business has a unique set of requirements. In order to meet your business objectives, having an idea of the strengths, weaknesses, and characteristics of each architecture becomes important. The software architecture patterns play a crucial role in defining the behavior and characteristics of applications.
For example, some architecture patterns are ideal for agile applications. On the other hand, others may be more helpful for scalable applications.
Helps Solve Various Problems
Having an in-depth understanding of the software architecture can provide you with a clear idea of how the application and its different components will function. As a result, your development team will be in a better position to resolve potential problems that come their way. Moreover, they can leverage the best practices to address the errors in the future.
Throughout the software development cycle, the applications undergo several iterations and modifications. Therefore, selecting an appropriate software architecture can provide agility to the application. It allows the developers to make the essential moderations easily and effortlessly.
No matter how knowledgeable or skillful your developers are, having standardized principles is a must. The software architecture pattern can help organizations gain a better understanding of the status of projects. Moreover, by clarifying the project scope, it can significantly boost productivity rates.
Software Architecture Pattern and Design Pattern: Know the Difference
Often people get confused between the software architecture pattern and the design pattern. Well, there is a very thin line between the two. To understand both concepts better, let’s take the help of a situation.
Imagine a situation in which you need to build a house. Would you directly start laying the bricks and cement? Of course not!
Before you start anything, you need to plan the house first. After designing the look of the house, you will have to think about the interior design and the basic amenities like bedding, kitchen appliances, and more. This step will make the house worth living.
Well, determining the look of the house represents architectural patterns. On the other hand, the interior design represents the design patterns.
In the software development process, architecture is all about creating the database logic, business logic, UI, and more. However, the design pattern involves the implementation of database logic and business logic.
|Architecture Patterns||Design Patterns|
|Definition||Fundamental structure for the development of software applications||Specifications ideal for effective software implementation|
|Level||Large level tool – Involves global properties, large scale components, and system mechanism||Small level tool – Involves schemes for building and refining smaller subsystems, behavior and structure of entities and their relationships|
|Role||Converts the characteristics of software into a high-level structure||Describes the units of a software system|
|Examples||Serverless, event-driven, and microservice||Behavioral, structural, and creational|
|Problem Addressed||Security, scalability, reliability, system partitioning, interfaces, protocols, distributed functionality||Software construction issues|
Different Software Architecture Patterns
Want to leverage the best software architecture patterns to develop scalable applications for your business? In that case, consider the top options outlined below.
1. Layered Architecture Pattern
This software architecture pattern is quite popular in the software development industry and is known by different names. Some of the common names include n-tier architecture or tiered architecture. It is a preferred choice among software architects owing to its similarities with the conventional arrangements used in established enterprises and startups.
The layered architecture consists of 4 layers. It includes business, presentation, database, and persistence. However, a point to note here is that the pattern is not limited to these layers only. There can be a data access layer, a service layer, or an application layer. When developing a large application, software engineers can easily combine all four layers.
Are you thinking about which frameworks use this software architecture pattern? Well, a common example is the Java EE.
The best thing about this pattern is that each layer has a unique task to do. Therefore, the requests need to pass through each individual layer in order to go to the next layer.
Another beneficial feature of the layered pattern is that it comes with a layer of isolation concept. That means when you make changes to the components of one layer, it will not impact the other layers. Sounds interesting, right? Indeed, it is!
Want to understand this pattern better? Let’s take the case of the development of an eCommerce web application. In order to process the activity of a shopping cart, business logic is essential.
The logic is usually fetched from the application tier and brought to the presentation tier. Therefore, the application tier serves as an integration layer facilitating communication between the presentation and data layers. The data tier is the final tier in eCommerce web application development. It allows maintaining data independently without affecting the business logic and application server.
- Ideal for teams consisting of inexperienced developers with limited knowledge of software architecture patterns.
- Suitable for building applications efficiently.
- Appropriate for enterprise applications that need traditional IT processes and departments.
- Ideal for applications having strict testing and maintenance standards.
- Missing out on layers for tight coupling may result in a logical mess.
- Unorganized source modules and codes without any specific roles can give rise to various issues for the application.
- For making the basic modifications, you may be required to redeploy the application completely.
2. Microservices Architecture Pattern
Next on the list of the best software architecture patterns is the microservices architecture pattern. It proves to be an ideal alternative to service-oriented architectures and monolithic applications.
This architecture pattern involves the deployment of components as separate units through a streamlined delivery pipeline. The key benefit of leveraging this software architecture pattern is that it has a high degree of decoupling and offers better scalability. That is why the components can easily be accessed via remote access control.
Moreover, it is also possible to develop, test, and deploy the same components separately. In other words, you will not have to depend on the other service components.
An early adopter of this architectural pattern is Netflix. It enabled the engineering team to form small teams and develop hundreds of microservices. Did you know that these microservices combine to deliver seamless digital entertainment to Netflix customers around the globe? Yes, that’s true!
- Websites have several data centers, small components, and remote teams globally.
- Suitable for rapid development of web applications.
- The division of tasks across microservices may impact the overall performance.
- Developing the correct level of granularity for a particular service component can be challenging.
- Not all applications come with tasks that can be divided into independent units.
3. Event-driven Architecture Pattern
Are you in search of a high-performant and agile software architecture pattern? In that case, the event-driven architecture pattern is just the perfect choice. This pattern comes with single-purpose event-processing components that can receive and process events seamlessly.
It mainly consists of two topologies, namely broker and mediator. When you need to put together multiple steps within an event bus via a central mediator, the mediator topology proves to be helpful. However, if there are no central mediators, you can easily organize events using a broker.
eCommerce site is an excellent example of this architecture pattern. The event-driven architecture allows the eCommerce sites to effectively respond to different requests from several sources at a time. Moreover, it prevents the application from experiencing any kind of crash or over-utilization of resources.
- Beneficial for user interfaces.
- Ideal for applications in which individual data blocks need to interact with a few modules only.
- When multiple modules handle the same event, it can be difficult to manage errors.
- Maintenance of transaction-based mechanisms can be tough with independent and decoupled modules.
- Testing individual modules is only possible when they are actually independent. Otherwise, testing a fully functional system will be required.
- Building a system-wide data structure can be challenging when events have unique needs.
4. Client-Server Architecture Pattern
One of the popular architectural patterns in software engineering is the client-server architecture pattern. It is basically a distributed application structure consisting of a server and a client. The core aim of this pattern is to facilitate effective communication between the client and the server.
However, the clients and servers may or may not be under the same network. When a client makes a request for content, files, services, or data, it is fetched from the server. The server identifies the specific client requests and sends the requested resources efficiently.
The best feature of this pattern is that it offers highly flexible functionality. Wondering how? Well, a single server is capable of serving multiple clients.
Moreover, a single client can also make use of several servers. The classification of the servers depends on the types of resources and services they offer.
One of the best examples of the client-server software architecture pattern is email. When a client or user looks for a specific mail, the server immediately searches for it among the pool of resources and finally sends the right mail. It helps in enhancing the overall experience of the users.
- Applications that provide multiple services to a large number of clients and need controlled access.
- Applications delivering real-time services such as telecommunication apps.
- Applications such as online banking services, emails, file sharing apps, the World Wide Web, gaming apps, and network printing.
- Applications have centralized services and resources that must be distributed among different servers.
- Single point of failure is a common risk of servers.
- Maintenance of the servers can be an expensive task.
- Incompatible server capacity may result in a slowing down of performance.
- Making changes to the pattern is an expensive and complex process.
5. Microkernel Architecture Pattern
The core components of this architecture pattern include several plug-in modules and a core system. The plug-in modules are basically the independent components that come with specialized processing. On the other hand, the core system has minimal functionality and its key role is to ensure the operationality of the system.
To understand the pattern better, let’s take the example of a business application. The general business logic without any special rules, cases, or conditional processes is the core system. The plug-in modules focus on enhancing the core system for more business capabilities.
Another example of this pattern is the task scheduler application. The microkernel will consist of all the logic for triggering and scheduling tasks. On the other hand, the plug-ins will contain the specific tasks.
- Suitable for applications having dynamic set of rules and fixed set of routines.
- Ideal for applications having clear segmentation between higher-order rules and basic routines.
- When multiple plugins depend on a microkernel, changing it can be challenging.
- Selecting the appropriate granularity for a kernel function can be difficult.
- The plugins need to have good handshaking in order to make the microkernel ready to work.
6. Pipe-filter Architecture Pattern
The pipe-filter software architecture pattern focuses on processing data in a unidirectional flow. The components are known as the filters. On the other hand, the pipes help in connecting the filters.
Processing of data occurs when the pipes send data to the filters. The result of the first filter becomes the input of the next filter. The core aim of this architecture pattern is to break down processes and components into multiple and independent components for simultaneous processing.
This pattern is suitable for applications that need to process data using web services. Compilers are a great example of the pipe-filter architecture pattern.
- Suitable for applications using tools such as External Dynamic List and Electronic Data Exchange.
- Ideal for applications facilitating one-way data processing.
- Useful for developing data compilers for syntax analysis and error-checking.
- Suitable for performing advanced operations in popular operating systems such as UNIX.
- The slowest filters can affect the efficiency and performance of the entire architecture.
- When the infrastructure designs are not reliable, there is a chance of data loss between filters.
- The transformational character of the pattern lowers its user-friendliness for interactive systems.
- The cost of data transmission between the filters is high.
7. Peer-to-Peer Architecture Pattern
The individual components of this architectural pattern are known as peers. The peers can change their roles dynamically as per the requirement. They can serve as a server, a client, or even both.
As a client, the role of a peer is to request specific services from other peers. However, when the peer acts as a server, it provides the requested services to other peers.
Are you wondering what is the difference between the client-server and peer-to-peer architecture pattern? Well, in the peer-to-peer architecture, there does not exist a centralized server.
Moreover, each computer present on the network is provided with a certain degree of authority. So, when more computers join the network, its capacity is sure to increase.
The most prominent examples of this architecture pattern are the file-sharing networks such as Napster, Skype, and BitTorrent. In the case of Skype, you can leverage the peer-to-peer architecture for messaging, collaboration, and file sharing. On the other hand, in BitTorrent, this pattern is useful for the distribution of files and data over the internet.
- Multimedia products like PDTP and P2PTV.
- File sharing networks like G2 and Gnutella.
- Cryptocurrency products like Blockchain and Bitcoin.
- The number of nodes in a network has an impact on the performance.
- High quality service is not guaranteed.
- In order to read a file, you would require a certain interface.
- Obtaining robust security can be challenging.
- Backing up folders and files is not possible.
8. Master-Slave Architecture Pattern
Next on the list of top software architecture patterns is the master-slave architecture. Think of a single database server that gets multiple requests at the same time. Processing all the requests at the same time can result in the slowing down of the application.
That is where the master-slave software architecture pattern comes into the picture. In this pattern, the master database launches several slave components and enables them to process the requests efficiently.
As the name of the pattern suggests, you can think of a master dividing tasks among its slaves. Once all the tasks are completed by the slave components, the results will be compiled and displayed by the master.
The master has complete control over the different slave components. Therefore, their functional priorities and communication are all determined by the master. However, what is most unique about this pattern is that all the slave components process the requests at the same time and deliver the results.
So, until and unless all the slave components provide their results, the slave operation is not considered to be complete. This architecture is ideal for applications that can be divided into smaller segments for the execution of similar requests. A database application is an excellent example of the master-slave architecture pattern.
- Ideal for advanced applications in which larger services can be broken down into smaller components.
- Suitable for applications that process raw data stored in multiple servers across a distributed network.
- Ideal for developing operating systems that need a multiprocessor compatible architecture.
- Appropriate for web browsers that follow multithreading for increasing its responsiveness.
- The isolation of slave components can result in a rise in overhead costs.
- Failure of the master can result in loss of data.
- Dependences between the systems can result in the failure of the different slave components.
9. Space-based Architecture Pattern
The space-based architecture pattern consists of two main components. It includes a virtualized middleware and a processing unit.
The processing unit is made up of several portions of the application components like the backend business logic and web-based components. In the case of smaller web applications, a single processing unit is essential. However, for larger applications, there is a need to split the application functionality into several processing units.
The main goal behind this is to avoid the chances of functional collapse. The virtualized middleware component is made up of elements controlling different aspects of request handling and data synchronization.
One of the best examples of this architectural pattern is a bidding auction site. The site functions as it receives from different internet users via a browser request.
When the site receives a request, it records the bid along with a timestamp and updates the information. Finally, it sends the updated data to the browser.
- Ideal for applications that can address the concurrency and scalability issues.
- Suitable for software systems and applications operating with a large user base.
- Caching data for optimum speed is a complete task.
10. Broker Architecture Pattern
The broker architecture pattern proves to be useful for structuring distributed systems that come with decoupled components. In this pattern, the components invoke remote services and interact with others. The broker plays a pivotal role in ensuring effective communication and coordination among the different components.
The key components of the broker architecture pattern are the servers, clients, and brokers. A broker has access to all the characteristics and services of a server. Whenever a client makes a request for any service, the broker will redirect them to the appropriate service category for further processing.
The key benefits of using this architecture pattern are efficient management of operations like addition, deletion, change, or relocation. Moreover, the pattern allows the separation of all communication-related codes into different layers from the core application. As a result, the applications can effectively run on single computers.
- Ideal for structuring distributed systems with decoupled components.
- Suitable for message broker software such as Apache Kafka, JBoss Messaging, Apache ActiveMQ, and RabbitMQ.
- Higher latency and needs greater effort for deployment.
- Standardization of service descriptions is essential.
- Hidden layers may impact the performance of the software.
- Low fault tolerance capacity.
11. Hybrid Architecture
Hybrid architecture is also one of the reliable software architecture patterns. As the name suggests, it combines several software architecture design patterns to meet specific application requirements. For instance, you can combine the event-driven pattern with the microservices pattern to address a problem.
- Ideal for scalable web applications
- Suitable for complex enterprise systems.
- Appropriate for real-time analytics.
- Integrating different patterns can be challenging.
- Complexity in the management of hybrid architecture pattern.
- Requires careful planning and designing to ensure optimum cohesiveness.
Comparative Analysis of the Prominent Software Architecture Patterns
Now that you have a clear idea about the different software architecture patterns, you must be wondering which one to choose. To make your task easier and enable you to select the best one, we have prepared a comparative analysis among the top options. Let’s dive in!
- Agility: High. Changes can be done without affecting the other components.
- Scalability: Highly scalable
- Ease of development: Low. Development of the pattern is a complex task.
- Performance: High. The asynchronous capabilities of the pattern make it highly performant.
- Testability: Low. Testing of each individual component will require the use of specialized tools.
- Ease of Deployment: High. The decoupled nature of the components makes it easier to deploy.
- Agility: Low. Making changes is difficult.
- Scalability: Low. Scaling up can be an issue.
- Ease of development: High. It is quite easy to develop.
- Performance: Low. The pattern is not user-friendly.
- Testability: High. The presentation component can be tested in isolation.
- Ease of Deployment: Low. Minor changes may necessitate redeployment of the whole app.
- Agility: High. Coupled pattern makes changes easier.
- Scalability: Highly scalable.
- Ease of development: High. Isolated and smaller scope of service components makes development easier.
- Performance: Low. Distributed nature can affect the performance.
- Testability: High. Isolation of the functionalities makes testing easier.
- Ease of Deployment: High. Services can be easily deployed as separate units.
- Agility: Low. Changes in large apps can be challenging.
- Scalability: Highly scalable.
- Ease of development: High. Shared services and resources allow easy development.
- Performance: High. Constant app performance.
- Testability: High. Easy to test the apps.
- Ease of Deployment: High. Cost-effective data storage, UI, and connectivity make deployment easier.
- Agility: High. Coupled plugin modules allow making changes easier.
- Scalability: Low. Scaling is difficult.
- Ease of development: Low. Contract governance and design complicate the development process.
- Performance: High. Easy streamlining and customization of apps.
- Testability: High. Testing the plugin modules separately is possible.
- Ease of Deployment: High. The dynamic addition of different plugin modules makes deployment easier.
Should you hire a software architect?
When it comes to leveraging architectural patterns in software engineering, taking the help of software architects can be beneficial. The architects are basically the senior programmers. Make sure to hire architects who have good knowledge of the basics of architecture and programs.
Modern applications require a standardized core and quick thinking. The software architecture patterns offer a solution-based vision and help in achieving long-term goals. Working with experienced and knowledgeable architects can facilitate the optimum growth and success of your organization.
By now, you must have a complete idea about the best software architecture patterns to use for software development. However, the right choice will depend on the unique requirements of your project. Hire the best software architects, select the right architecture pattern, and boost the success of your project.
Why Choose eSparkBiz For Software Design/Development?
eSparkBiz is a leading firm that has expert engineers who have excellent knowledge and experience in leveraging the best software architecture patterns for software projects. We have been in the sector for over 12+ years. Our rich experience and expertise enable us to deliver exceptional solutions.
The firm takes pride in having a client retention rate of 95%. With a team of over 300+ expert professionals, we serve the software development needs of clients across 20+ countries. Our consultation will enable you to adopt the best architecture pattern and enhance the success chances of your application. Inquire Now!